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Sweet Sailing

July 2, 2014

“If your ship doesn’t come in, sail out to it.”
Jonathan Winters, Actor

Rosemary, cracked pepper cookies. Yum, yum.

Made with love.


P.S. The sweet honey bee (pictured below) didn’t take notice of me as it went about trying to pollinate the yellow flowers. Which were made of plastic. Gulp. Sorry bee 😦


© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey

© 2014, Dana Aubrey

Musical Interlude: Atoms for Peace

May 1, 2014

Inspiraled By Another, 5.9/66

April 23, 2014

Spring is for friends and lovers.

© 2014, Dana Aubrey, Friends album cover reference photo
Elton John’s “Friends”
original film soundtrack, LP cover art. Circa 1971

Sketch of Elton John's "Friends" album cover art.© 2014, Dana Aubrey© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey

Inspiraled by Another is a series of 66 photography inspired sketches that made my pencil spin.

Art Deco Lamp Rescue

April 14, 2014

Peter spotted this junked art deco lamp while skimming through a second hand store. Not all the parts were original, it was badly rusted, and the lamp canopy had been crudely cut in two places thanks to the jerry-rigging of a previous owner. It exuded enough charm to bewitch us both into buying it regardless. We paid too much for it in the end considering how much obvious TLC it needed but it was still a fraction of the cost of buying a well preserved antique light fixture and/or that of an expensive restoration knockoff.

I removed the paint from the fixture’s canopy, then took it all apart and scrubbed at the rust with a S.O.S pad while Peter worked on converting an old, ugly, 6 inch pot light fixture for the lamp’s new ceiling perch. Removing the rust revealed a corroded brass plated finish, further damaged by my scrubbing. I could have spray-painted the whole thing with a faux metal finish but I have a soft spot for natural patina. I decided to strip the metal rings of its brass plating and leave the canopy in its discolored state instead.

This project took a few more months (and elbow grease) to finish then anticipated after freelance work pulled me away. It sat in pieces in a box on my living room floor long enough for me to forget what all the fuss was about to begin with. I couldn’t remember what it looked like when it was in one piece and debated abandoning it all together. However, driven by curiosity and a waste not, want not mentality, I persevered. During reassembly it became obvious nothing was square or symmetrical, leading me to believe this must be a homemade lamp. Of course that made me love it even more.

And voila! Not too shabby after a little spit and polish don’t you think?!

Dismantled ceiling lamp, refinishing details in progress.
Refurbished ceiling lamp, before and after shot.
Refurbished art deco ceiling lamp, side view against blue backdrop.
Refurbished ceiling lamp, dimmed lighted seen from below.

© 2014, Dana Aubrey



The Button Factory

March 27, 2014

Another March Break craft by the kids.

My original intention when I bought The Button Factory kit was to produce personalized buttons for friends and family. Regrettably the kit didn’t measure up to my expectations. Using the tools supplied, I could not get the tin & fabric sandwich to successfully cinch together. I got as far as the thready button below before giving up and tossing the kit in the cupboard.

Over the March Break the girls found it. Alex in particular is a huge button fan so she was pretty keen to try her hand at it. Like me they discovered the fastening process didn’t work well. Unlike me, they enlisted the extra muscle of their dad who was better able to force the dysfunctional parts into a functional form. After a while, even Peter threw his hands up in the air in defeat but not before he was able to help them produce these funky creations below.


© 2014, Dana Aubrey© 2014, Dana Aubrey© 2014, Dana Aubrey

© 2014, Dana Aubrey


The Crafty Gardener

March 16, 2014

My family and I found ourselves weather, work, and financially house bound during March Break last week. With two teenage girls stuck in a perpetual state of digital ennui, I bee-lined it for the studio for some art therapy of the step-mummy kind. I love it when the girls join me up there but they’re teenagers now, and you know how that story goes; parents bad, digital media good.

I was just getting reacquainted with a half finished sketch when I was interrupted by the sound of shuffling feet sneaking up from behind. A curious young girl (who had a ‘I’m bored’ cloud hanging over her head) shimmied up to my side, let out a big sigh and asked, “whatcha doing?” Happy to have the company but suspicious of a short attention span, I diverted her over to a bench by the window. There she could investigate a new stack of scrap-booking paper recently donated to me by my sweet neighbor.

Our neighbors are like kindred spirits with hobby interests closely resembling our own. Sometimes I imagine they are an older, wiser version of Peter and I – if we should be so lucky. Instead of borrowing cups of flour or sticks of butter from each other, we borrow tools, DIY tips and craft supplies. Mostly though, the lady of the house often places pretty packages on my doorstep filled with new, or recently dusted off art supplies she thinks I might enjoy. Her generosity and kindness always cheers me up. Considering how green her thumb is in the garden, I’m beginning to suspect her whole essence is built around encouraging other things to growth, myself included. Yup, she’s a gem!

As I suspected (and hoped) it didn’t take long for my stepdaughter to become absorbed by the different patterns and pretty prints. And just as she no doubt suspected, it didn’t take long for me to be lured over into looking through the papers along side of her. When Rachel suggested I make something for our neighbor as a thank you, I smiled back and said, “yes, WE should do that.” And with that, we did.

Presenting The Crafty Gardener and The Handy Carpenter by Rachel and I – a paper puppet pair that ended up looking so much like them, I was floored. They were a joy to make, a joy to give, and an even bigger joy to see how well they were received.

© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey© 2014, Dana Aubrey
© 2014, Dana Aubrey

© 2014, Dana Aubrey

Knock, knock.

December 31, 2013

´¨`*•.¸♥♥¸.•*´¨`*•. ¸♥¨`*•.¸♥♥¸.•*´¨`*• .¸♥.•*´¨`

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
A Deer.
A Deer who?
A Deer for you Dear.
Happy New Year!

´¨`*•.¸♥♥¸.•*´¨`*•. ¸♥¨`*•.¸♥♥¸.•*´¨`*• .¸♥.•*´¨`

Christmas card linocut prints of deer knocker illustration and design in progress.

Christmas card linocut prints of deer knocker design on wood textured paper.

Christmas card linocut prints of deer knocker design on black card stock.
© 2013, Dana Aubrey

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